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Dead Lines and live tracks

by on April 8, 2012

I think that it was a Deep Purple roadie who spawned the urban myth: “Everything Louder than Everything Else!”  And I have to say that there are days when that could be the sound track to my life.  The computer is calling, with a sweet siren voice of song, the house phone is ringing with yet another idiot trying to sell me something that I don’t want, my office line is ringing with another querolous client wanting his ego stroking to be reassured that his affairs are more important to me than the completion of my current WIP (as if), one of my retrievers is demanding food, walking or attention, a daughter the same, probably another daughter  is insisting that the loud rock music blasting from my iphone needs competition from her drum n bass cd system in her bedroom.  Oh yes, Everything Louder than Everything Else.

And here, breaking through the cacophony comes the “ping” of a email from my wonderful publishers, reminding me that the deadline for my next piece is very, very close, and would I mind sending the document to them? Please?

So, no pressure there, eh?

See, when you sit down and wish to become a writer, this is the bit that they don’t tell you about.  Yes, you hear about the rock star life style.  That’s not the Rock God life style of the cars and the women, the drink and the drugs and the mansions, by the way – it’s the rather grubbier and much less glamorous version which tours the country in a beaten up VW, humping his own boxes of books in and out of bookshops, talking to crowds of up to five uninterested people who wanted to buy chic-lit and not whatever you have in your boxes.  You hear about starving in attics and small rented places, subsisting on handouts from better- off tramps and occasional state benefits.  You don’t hear about the intense pressure that descends when your publisher says: “No pressure, but…”.  You don’t hear about the visceral terror of looking at a blank screen. You don’t hear about the queer looks you get from friends, relatives, and occasionally policemen when you stumble down the street muttering wildly to yourself as you try and sort out the next scene in your head. You don’t hear about the perplexing, whirling kaleidoscope of confusion normally referred to as ‘internet and social media marketing’.  Well, all right, you do occasionally when a ragged and despairing writer friend staggers out of the smoke shaking their head in confusion.

What is left for you to do?  Only one thing.  Turn up the music until your characters’ voices are louder than everything else going on and get writing.

Oh, and be careful what you wish for.  You might just get it. Whatever will you do then?



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  1. Another wonderful peice, Will. Startlingly accurate and brilliantly said. Well done! 😀

  2. M T McGuire permalink

    I love your blog.

    OK, so this is where I could write a ner-diddly-er-der post about the joys of self publishing here BUT… actually, I felt under MASSIVE pressure to produce my second book in under a year… and failed by about 8 months, mwah ha ha haargh… then again, I suppose there was an upside because however annoyed with me I was, I couldn’t drop myself!

    But you’ve still got a proper publisher and I’m still jealous… btw are you an accountant.



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